Home and away

Sometimes when I’m driving down the Sunshine Coast Highway, I look over to Vancouver Island with a deep sense of homesickness. That long spine of blue mountains, the lights of Nanaimo if I’m driving at night. . . I grew up in Victoria and spent my early adult years there as well, in between periods of living on Crete, in London, and on a small island off the west coast of Ireland. John and I bought our land near Sakinaw Lake in 1980 and built our house and since then, this has been my home. I love it dearly. But there’s something about the Island that continues to tug at my heart.

I’m home now after a brief trip to the Island for a series of readings which Colleen Kitts, the publicist at Goose Lane Editions dubbed “The Autumn Leaves Tour”. It was a wonderful few days. John and I enjoyed reading our work in Nanaimo, Sidney, Duncan, and Campbell River. It was great to see some old friends and meet a few new ones as well. Yesterday morning we were welcomed to Coho Books in Campbell River where Pirkko had tea and coffee ready as well as homemade cookies. Wicker chairs in a circle, a table displaying our books, a friendly dog wandering from person to person: it doesn’t get much better.

Wild November storms meant that our plan to return home via the Comox-Powell River ferry had to abandoned – the scheduled crossings were cancelled or delayed. (This is the best route back for us from the north Island.) So we drove down to Departure Bay and waited for two hours there. Our own Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry was on time and we arrived home at 9:30 last night to discover that the power was out. Thank goodness for a woodstove and candles.

What I remember about the past few days: having coffee with Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson in Horseshoe Bay and continuing our conversation on the ferry across the Strait of Georgia on Tuesday morning; the architecture of Garry oaks on Rockland Avenue; views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Gonzales Hill; touring Ross Bay Villa with Angelica, followed by pizza at the fabulous Pizzeria Prima Strada in Cook Street Village, baked before our eyes in a wood-burning oven; looking at the lights of Mill Bay from John and Pauline Holdstock’s cosy dining room and realizing it was almost the same view I’d loved 35 years ago when I lived at Yarrow Point; the enchanting streets of Duncan, all the windows draped with Christmas lights and looking like something out of an old movie; the friendly librarians who greeted us and provided venues for our readings.

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~ by theresakishkan on November 27, 2011.

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